British Colonist July 13, 1868 p2
San Francisco Visitors.
We sometime since published certain certificates in this paper from three leading and wealthy men in San Francisco, in favour of Vancouver Island over all others on the coast as a residence in summer for tourists, invalids and those seeking a change of residence during the summer for domestic reasons.
We are happy to find the matter is now attracting much attention in San Francisco. It is stated upon the most reliable authority that had there been a competent vessel plying between the ports during this summer, we should have had at least from fifty to a hundred rich families from San Francisco sojourning here among us. It is safe to say that Victoria lost by this evil, at a low calculation, from $50000 to$100000; nor is it improbable that she has lost $300,000.
The families in San Francisco, (which this summer have smallpox, measles, and scarlatina in their midst, and every summer some epidemic), now talk this wise: “We hear so much about Victoria as a summer residence, we know so much about her beautiful and invigorating climate, that numbers of us are exceedingly anxious to spend the summer there, but we will not risk our families in such boats as ply between the two ports. Give us a good, safe and commodious boat and rest assured she will be crowded. Families gain nothing by going into the country here, and in every respect it would be cheaper for us to send them to Victoria for the season. How is it that the people and the Government do not unite upon some plan to put a proper boat on the line, so that we could make the experiment at least?”
Here, then, is the testimony of our neighbours below, upon a subject of grave importance to us; but the want of that unity of purpose between the people themselves, and between the people and the government, which would soon supply the required communication is the evil under which we labour; and in proportion as the Colony, by virtue of her merits, is daily forcing herself into more favourable notice, the want of unity is the more disgraceful and the more fatal. The Colony cannot do everything by herself to improve its condition, unless party differences and sectional interests are forgotten and abandoned for a time, but all classes may unite upon one great project of common good.
Every year some 10,000 persons leave San Francisco to obey the laws of fashion, they get out of the inconveniences of that city into the inconveniences of the country which they now unreadable for a line) they have incomes ranging from $500-$20000 a month; they are profusely liberal in their expenditure; and moreover a large proportion wish to come and spend the summer here, but there is no boat to convey them. Ought such a thing to be? There are difficulties in the way we admit but they are not unsurmountable.
Could not the Hudson Bay Company take the initiative in connection with capitalists below in the purchase of the Moses Taylor, which is now for sale and which by being an American vessel would save nearly one half of her expenses over an English boat by Customs, Pilots and other fees in San Francisco, and get a subsidy from the Government. The company might consist of English and Americans conjointly. The maritime regulations in San Francisco render this necessary on account of the expense which would be thereby saved. The more this project is enquired into, and the disposition among the wealthy of San Francisco to support it, the more practical and important it will be found even at the present time.
Who will be the first to move? In bringing this matter forward again we feel pleased the reliability of the statement we make is not rest entirely upon our own information. In every particular, and even further than we have gone, we shall be supported by gentlemen who had just returned from San Francisco, some of whom authorise us to use their names as references, if any persons feel inclined to learn the real state of feeling in that city upon a matter which, in various ways, is of such vital importance to ourselves.